chasing tail and pinstripes

Monday afternoon I got a last minute invite from Tony to go out and spend the next 24 hours searching for tails and pinstripes.  I jumped at the offer, (but first I called my wife and then I informed my boss that I was using a personal day on Tuesday), to go fishing!

When a Redfish (aka Red Drum)  feeds their tail stick out of the water.

Luckily in my automobile I always keep some clothes for kayaking, a PFD (buoyancy aid), and a paddle.  So right after work I met Tony at his house.  We used his kayaks and his fishing gear.  Then it was a short drive to the Dunedin Causway.

We fished for most of the night.  Tony caught a few Reds that were over the slot size.   The Red I caught was legal size so we ate it.


There is nothing better than catching, cleaning, and eating a fish on an island.

After we ate we looked to see what we could find around the island.  Tony found a Spider Crab.  It is about 3 3/4″ (95 mm) wide, 4″ (102 mm) long round and spiny. The crab’s grayish-yellow / brown body blends it perfectly with low-tide line bottoms that it feeds in.  I think we got a hold of a male because the legs and pinchers were longer than some of the other ones in the water.

Spider Crab

Sunrise was around 6:30am.  It was a warm and buggy night.  Tony slept on the ground and I spent the night in a hammock.  I have been leaving a hammock with its bug net in my truck because I sometimes set it up on my lunch breaks.  I work at a college so it is not unusual to see professors and staff in hammocks during a break.

After we cleaned up the camp we went searching for Snook.  This type of fish has a pinstripe down its side.  Off of another island we cast our line into a channel cut where Snook are locally known to run.  When it took that bait it was like having a bull at the end of the rod.  It never jumped.  It just swam out and tried to go deep.  It took a few minutes to reel it in.  This was my first Snook.  Wow what a monster!

Snook is 40 inches

After releasing the snook we continued to fish but got no strong hits.  Living on the Gulf Coast has granted me with many ways to enjoy the water.  We have so much abundant wildlife.  It just takes a moment to discover it.

checking out the kayak

Next time we are going to go Tarpon or Shark fishing from a kayak – Jeff


  1. Those snook and reds are a blast to catch! What kind of bait were you using? BTW-I’m planning a trip down the Suwannee in November, loosely based on your float plan. Thanks for paving the way.

  2. We were using green and silver/yellow Yo-zuri Pins Minnows for the snook; the reds were hitting small Berkley gulp shrimp.

    I will be looking forward to reading about your trip down the Suwannee in November.

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